"Only" is the eighth track on the 2005 album With Teeth. It was released as a single in summer 2005, receiving the designation Halo 20. It is known for its upbeat and synthesizer-driven instrumentation, and casual lyric delivery, reminiscent of 1989's "Down In It." It was censored on radio, though it was obvious that the word "fucking" was being cut out. "Only" was the last song finished for With Teeth. It was the second song that saw the release of its multitracks for fan remixes.
"Down In It"
"Only" contains a verse that is very similar to a verse in the song "Down In It." "Down In It": Just then a tiny little dot caught my eye it was just about too small to see/But I watched it way too long it was pulling me down "Only": Well the tiniest little dot caught my eye/And it turned out to be a scab/And I had this funny feeling/Like I just knew it's something bad
This is the original album version.
Only (Richard X Remix)
Only (El-P Remix)
The dance-oriented beat is gone, replaced by a heavier beat and finger-snap percussion.
Only (Richard X Dub)
Only (Richard X Edit)
Only (El-P Instrumental)
Only (Beside You In Time)
This live version is found on the Beside You In Time DVD. It contains a guitar riff intro which also appears in the chorus, not featured on the album version.
The video for "Only" was directed by David Fincher and was largely created using advanced CGI by visual effects company Digital Domain. It features a desk with a laptop (A 17" Mac PowerBook), speakers, a cup of coffee, a Newton's cradle and a Pin Art desk toy being brought to life and animated by the music. The video starts with a hand pressing the space bar on the computer, which starts its music program (iTunes with the Visualizer turned on). The Newton's cradle begins to sway to the beat as ripples appear in a cup of coffee. Reznor appears in the Pin Art, singing the song. As it gets to the second verse, the songs builds and the vibrations get more intense. Reznor seems to almost break out of the Pin Art as the balls on the cradle sway almost uncontrollably. The ripples in the coffee also have greater frequency. The climax of the song dislodges the top-most apple in a nearby bowl, after which Reznor's impression walks off and the scene dies down. At the very end, a blurry image of a car can be seen driving away. The video was almost entirely computer-animated, with Reznor filmed live in front of a green screen and then mapped onto the Pin Art. It is reported that the only parts that were live-action were the hand at the very beginning (that of Fincher) and the bowl of apples at the end.
Reznor on the songwriting
"It's about the business. When you get on this path of trying to sell records it becomes about selling more records and playing bigger venues. It's like,'I'm friends with Tom Morello but Audioslave are releasing something on the same day as us and I must destroy him'. It's like, 'Wait a minute!' The goal has to be about making the best music possible or else it becomes something that will make you implode. Although, I'd rather have money than not because I know what not having it is like and not being able to pay the gas bill sucks. I feel lucky that I can do this but I constantly have to remind myself what the goal is. Should I say yes to that Microsoft commercial because I could use a new house? Or do I say no because this is something precious that would be tarnished if I did that? I find myself saying this to record labels and business manager guys,and they're like, 'You won't do what because of what?' My feelings were hurt when I heard David Bowie's 'Heroes' on a fucking Microsoft commercial. It's like 'Why? Fuck!'"
I'm becoming less defined As days go by Fading away (Well you might say) I'm losing focus Kind of drifting into the abstract In terms of how I see myself Sometimes I think I can see right through myself Less concerned about fitting into the world Your world, that is Because it doesn't really matter Anymore None of this really matters anymore Yes I am alone But then again I always was As far back as I can tell I think maybe it's because Because you were never real to begin with I just made you up To hurt myself And it worked Yes it did There is no you There is only me There is no fucking you There is only me Only [Pt. 2] Well the tiniest little dot caught my eye And it turned out to be a scab And I had this funny feeling Like I just knew it's something bad I just couldn't leave alone And I kept picking at that scab Like it was a doorway trying to seal itself shut But I climbed through And now I'm somewhere I am not supposed to be And I can see things I know I really shouldn't see Now I know why And now I know why Things aren't as pretty On the inside There is no fucking you There is only me Only
Additional lyrics were printed in the With Teeth PDF booklet, but do not feature in the song, and are only included in one of the multitrack sets:
Is this really all there is? Is this really all there is?